A valid passport is required for entry into South Africa.  U.S. citizens do not need a visa. U.S. and non-U.S. citizens need a valid passport both to enter other countries and to return to the United States.  If you already have a passport, make sure it is valid until at least six months after your return date.  If you must apply for or renew a passport, APPLY EARLY, since a minimum of four to six weeks is usually required for processing.  During peak travel seasons, more processing time is required.  Passport forms are available at many federal and state courts, probate courts, some county/municipal offices and some post offices.  They can also be downloaded from the Web. For more information about passports visit the web page.

A visa is official permission granted by the authorities of a country where you will study or travel that allows you to enter and remain in that country for a specific purpose.  The visa itself is frequently a stamp in your passport, not a separate document. You will need a passport before applying for a visa and the passport plus visa process may take several months, so start early.  It is your responsibility to inquire about visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad; this includes countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. If you are an MSU international student, also visit the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) to obtain a signature on visa documents to permit re-entry to the United States. For more information about visas visit the web page.

If you will be staying in Europe for longer than 90 days, you will need to contact the consulate(s) of your host country(ies) for advice on visas.

Health Concerns
As part of your application you will complete a Student Health/Emergency Treatment Authorization. It is your responsibility to ensure that your routine immunizations are up-to-date; inquire whether there are recommended and/or required immunizations or medications for the country/countries you will visit (including any countries you will visit that are not part of the study abroad program’s itinerary); and review educational issues relevant to your personal health and safety.

Malaria exists throughout the year in certain regions, including Hluhluwe where the class will spend two days.  Students participating in this program are strongly encouraged to receive a series of immunizations specific for travel within southern Africa.  Students should schedule an appointment to be seen at a travel clinic at least three months before the program to inquire about the recommended and/or required vaccines to consider before departure.

For further health information and recommendations visit the “Health Issues” section of the Study Abroad Student Guide.


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